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September 11, 2018

Go Beyond Empathy by Being Compassionate

As we build more authentic learning environments, we must all seek to be compassionate toward those we work with. A warm smile and a positive attitude go a long way and it is our duty during the school day to ensure that all people feel safe and have what they need to be successful.

September 06, 2018

The Start of Year Two as a New Leader: The Training Wheels Are Officially Off

Last year I worried about every decision I made, reaching out to someone before I decisively made any movement - at least at the beginning. This year, I am clear on what we are doing and I'm sending a focused message to all I speak with and I look forward to our first department meeting where we can start to zero in on the work.

September 03, 2018

Twas the Day Before a New School Year

So as I "enjoy" the butterflies that are starting to flutter, I take a deep meditative breath as I jump into a new school year with my eyes, my heart, and my mind wide open knowing that this will be the best year ever.

August 28, 2018

Unequal Comparisons in Education Grind My Gears

We have to do a better job as a profession to assess students in meaningful ways and then find ways to share that data. The standards surely help us know the skills we are trying to teach, but we are also trying to raise young men and women to become functioning members of society, good people who will have to perform in a variety of different ways to be successful depending on their given career paths. Why don't we agree that students shouldn't be tested in this way because it is easier? Shouldn't we find a more effective and equitable way of determining student learning and school success rates? Isn't it time for us to acknowledge that we hurt kids by testing them too much and that testing is actually robbing students of effective and meaninful opportunities for engaging learning?

August 26, 2018

Exciting Preparations for a New School Year

Instead of a plan book, I have a calendar and a to-do list that will help inform the first month of school. This upcoming week we have preplanning meetings and administrative check-ins. I'll eagerly listen and participate so that I can make sure our team gets what it needs.

August 19, 2018

A Shift for Our Kids in the Way They Think About Learning

Guest post by Mark Erlenwein In 2013 I became the newly appointed fourth principal of my alma mater after 16 years as a STEM teacher and assistant principal in the same building I practically grew up in. My time as a student at Staten Island Technical High School, although 25 years ago, are vivi...

August 08, 2018

Struggling With Depression and the Expectation of Positivity

I'm selfishly hoping that by sharing my struggles right now, I will feel better for writing about them and also have folks who I know can understand, despite how lonely and alone I feel when I go through it.

August 05, 2018

Learning Through My Own Mental Models and Organizational Frames

Throughout my leadership coursework, I've been asked to reflect on a number of different things. In one class that I really enjoyed, we had excellent reading materials that often encouraged me to dig deep into my new experiences, watching closely what I was feeling and thinking to tackle new experie...

July 31, 2018

Competing Values in Education Make Real Transformation Challenging

As I continue to grow in my new position, I'm learning the value of building the relationships and trying to understand what different stakeholders want and need so that I can better communicate what we need to do in a way they can hear it. Although I may not be able to challenge state assessments yet in NY, I know that there are alternative pathways and assessments for some students and I also know that there are schools exempted from the state tests.

July 26, 2018

Trust Is the Beginning of Everything

Being new is never easy, but it does have its benefits. Learning to trust takes time and forgiveness and a willingness to bounce back and try again, maybe just in a different way. We can't give up on each other, that's no way to grow.

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The opinions expressed in Work in Progress are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.

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